👋 Good morning! Hope you enjoyed the last football game for a while. Oh wait, never mind, the XFL kicks off on Saturday.
Today's word count: 1,603 words (6 mins)
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
On a chilly night in Miami, the Kansas City Chiefs caught fire and concluded Super Bowl LIV in signature fashion, coming back from a 10-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20.
Quick recap: For much of the game, Mahomes looked positively human and uncharacteristically inaccurate (18/31, 172 yards, 2 INT through 2.5 quarters), and Jimmy Garoppolo was finally living up to his chin.
What they're saying:
The bottom line: The Immaculate Reception. The Helmet Catch. The Philly Special. Oftentimes, the Super Bowl is defined by a single play so memorable that you can't help but give it a nickname.
At last year's Super Bowl, Maroon 5's halftime performance made us wish Adam Levine had just stayed on the set of "The Voice." This year, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez reminded us that they're still absolute icons.
As for the commercials ... not the strongest batch overall, but the best ones still brought it. Personal favorites?
Andy Reid got his 222nd victory on 02/02/2020 (a rare eight-digit palindrome that reads the same forward and backward), and it was the biggest win of his career. I couldn't be happier for "Big Red."
The thrill of victory.
And the agony of defeat ... Three teams in Super Bowl history have forfeited a 10-point fourth quarter lead, and Kyle Shanahan called the offensive plays for two of them. After the 10-minute mark in the fourth quarter, the 2016-17 Falcons and the 2019-20 Niners were outscored a combined 46-0.
Novak Djokovic came back from two sets to one down for the first time in a major final to beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and earn his eighth Australian Open crown.
Why it matters: The win allows Djokovic to reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal and tighten the gap with Nadal and Roger Federer in the race to see who will finish with the most Grand Slam singles titles.
Wild stat: Djokovic (5), Nadal (5) and Federer (3) have won the last 13 men's Grand Slam singles titles dating back to 2017. Their dominance defies all logic. There are no words.
Go deeper: Djokovic solves the mind-body problem to win the Australian Open (New Yorker)
21-year-old Sofia Kenin won the Australian Open over the weekend, becoming the youngest American woman to win a major title since 20-year-old Serena Williams won the 2002 U.S. Open.
Wild stat: While the "Big Three" have won the last 13 men's Grand Slam titles, the much more unpredictable women's game has now seen 11 different winners over the same span.
Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
Kobe Bryant is always present in the Staples Center. That's what 20 seasons, five titles, and two separate jerseys hanging in the rafters yield.
The ceremony: On a night full of consoling and catharsis, an emotional pregame tribute lasted nearly half an hour, comprising:
Meanwhile, around the NBA ... the Mamba Mentality shone bright, as Damian Lillard (twice), Kyrie Irving, Eric Gordon and Khris Middleton combined for five 50-point games in seven days. Lillard, in particular, had a preposterous week.
12 years ago today, Eli Manning connected with David Tyree for one of the most iconic catches in NFL history, as the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in SB XLII.
The big picture: Thanks to Manning, Tyree, and Burress, the 1972 Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in NFL history.
New York's two QBs, Daniel Jones (Giants) and Sam Darnold (Jets), went head-to-head in cornhole over the weekend, with Darnold and his partner emerging victorious.
Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa were named the 2019 offensive and defensive rookies of the year on Saturday.
Answer at the bottom.
P.S. ... Shoutout Lamar Jackson for becoming just the second unanimous MVP in NFL history.
Kendall "Not going to Disneyland!" Baker
Trivia answer: Cam Newton and Von Miller